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Andycath

Best route for 4 night break from Stourport on Seven

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Hi, I am hiring a narrowboat in March mooring out of Stourport on Seven and am looking for advice for the best route to take for the break. Four night break mon to fri. Two of us travelling, we have used canals before but only 3 times. I have read that the Droitwich Ring is a good option but seems to be a lot of locks. Any advice on the best routes (which include pubs etc) would be grateful. Thanks

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Bear in mind that you probably wont get away until mid afternoon on monday and will have to return the boat by first thing friday morning. 

 

Check river levels.  If the river is up, you only choice is to go North.

 

If the river is down, the Droitwich Ring option would be pretty good IMO.  You get river, narrow canal, wide canal, a big town, a city...

 

I'd head down the Severn and aim for the floating pontoon at Hawford for your first night, unless you get away in good time and get head down towards Worcester.  The Camp House pub is a good choice for a first night too, moor on the end of the lower lock landing with the lock-keeper's permission.  Or you could carry on down into Worcester and moor on the river pontoon just past Diglis Locks.

 

On Tuesday, head up the Canal and aim for Hanbury Junction, but be prepared to moor around Dunhampstead depending on how you're doing for time. 

 

Wednesday, head down to Droitwich and moor on the visitor pontoons in the town basin, or in the park.  Or if you fancy a nice quiet mooring there are some nice spots further down, e.g. by Salwarpe.

 

Thursday, back down to the Severn, upstream to Stourport and moor on the river pontoon just before the locks.

 

A nice trip.

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4 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

  The Camp House pub is a good choice for a first night too, moor on the end of the lower lock landing with the lock-keeper's permission. 

 

You can also moor on the upper lock mooring and walk to the Camp House. I have done this when arriving after Bevere Lock has closed.

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It being the March, should the river be less than benign with the weather set fair, you may have little choice but to head up the canal from Stourport. There's enough locks to make it interesting but not too many - just do half your time north then reverse the route.  I'd avoid an overnight in Kidderminster itself (but have no qualms about stopping there in the daytime) otherwise its a very pleasant canal indeed. 

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7 hours ago, Andycath said:

Hi, I am hiring a narrowboat in March mooring out of Stourport on Seven and am looking for advice for the best route to take for the break. Four night break mon to fri. Two of us travelling, we have used canals before but only 3 times. I have read that the Droitwich Ring is a good option but seems to be a lot of locks. Any advice on the best routes (which include pubs etc) would be grateful. Thanks

Is it the last week in March? Before then may be difficult for using the Severn because of restricted opening hours and days.

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

 You can also moor on the upper lock mooring and walk to the Camp House. I have done this when arriving after Bevere Lock has closed.

Or indeed you can moor at the Camp House itself, though the mooring's not huge and it's occasionally reserved for a trip-boat from Worcester.

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28 minutes ago, Richard Fairhurst said:

Or indeed you can moor at the Camp House itself, though the mooring's not huge and it's occasionally reserved for a trip-boat from Worcester.

But having come down from Droitwich, arriving after the lock had closed, and heading upriver the following day, above the lock was our only option. For the OP coming downriver on his first day, it may also be the only option.

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Others may have different experiences to mine, but outside of walking from a lock platform, I reckon the only decent narrowboat moorings with an adjacent pub between Stourport and Worcester are at the Hempstall Inn. They get progressively longer each time I pass, though I don't know what it is they're up to. The rest are generally made up of bits of dodgy scaffold pole.

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If the river conditions preclude going south on the Severn, then you have various options going north. Do you want to be travelling all the time, or visiting places on the way? 4 nights will get you to Wightwick on the outskirts of Wolverhampton and back (2 days at 7 hours each way). There is a good National Trust house there. Alternatively, you could cruise up to Stourbridge and visit the glass works and perhaps continue up the Dudley Canal. You can get to Hawne Basin in 17 hours of cruising, but it is a bit lock intensive. Excellent lock flights though. Definitely visit Kinver and the rock houses. The south end of the Staffs and Worcs is one of my favourite bits of canal. All timings from Canalplan.

 

Jen

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In March are the Severn locks still on winter operation, if so then I think you need to book them 24 hours in advance, and they do not operate every day.  So aside from the river conditions make certain that you understand how that works.  Otherwise you just go up the S&W.  Where is the hire base in Stourport, in the basin?

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1 hour ago, johnmoly said:

The hire company should have some information as to where you should be able to go to and how long it will take.

If it's Star Cruisers I reckon Llangollen is on the cards!  ;)

 

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Its the 18th March out of Stourport Basin - looks like there are many options but all depends on the river. Im sure the hire company will advise accordingly. Cheers

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14 minutes ago, Andycath said:

Its the 18th March out of Stourport Basin - looks like there are many options but all depends on the river. Im sure the hire company will advise accordingly. Cheers

The Severn will still be on winter opening hours that week. They are 0800-1600 Thurs - Mon and booking ahead is required.

 

Assuming you are hiring from Starline in the upper basin that means you would have to leave the hire base, traverse the two staircases down to the river, and then get through Lincomb and Holt Fleet locks before 1600 on the first day and moor up at Hawford.

 

I don't think that's realistically possible and the Staffs & Worcs is your only option.

 

That's not a problem since the southern Staffs & Worcs is a beautiful stretch of canal. Even with relatively relaxed cruising you should be able to do something like;-

 

1st night - Wolverley (Lock inn)

2nd night - Swindon (pubs in village) or below Bumblehole lock (Round Oak)

3rd night - Greensforge (Navigation Inn) having turned somewhere above Bratch locks

4th night - Stourport above York St lock near Black Star pub and Namaste indian restaurant (book ahead!)

 

JP

 

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4 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

The Severn will still be on winter opening hours that week. They are 0800-1600 Thurs - Mon and booking ahead is required.

 

Assuming you are hiring from Starline in the upper basin that means you would have to leave the hire base, traverse the two staircases down to the river, and then get through Lincomb and Holt Fleet locks before 1600 on the first day and moor up at Hawford.

 

I don't think that's realistically possible and the Staffs & Worcs is your only option.

 

That's not a problem since the southern Staffs & Worcs is a beautiful stretch of canal. Even with relatively relaxed cruising you should be able to do something like;-

 

1st night - Wolverley (Lock inn)

2nd night - Swindon (pubs in village) or below Bumblehole lock (Round Oak)

3rd night - Greensforge (Navigation Inn) having turned somewhere above Bratch locks

4th night - Stourport above York St lock near Black Star pub and Namaste indian restaurant (book ahead!)

 

JP

 

So the point is that if you want to do that you will need to have booked the locks by at least the day before your hire starts, it would not work leaving it until you pick the boat up.  Also you need to get away early enough to be able to get through the two Severn locks during their opening hours, and that is not necessarily a given, so you would need to talk to the hire company before hand to see if they would be able to accommodate that.

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4 hours ago, john6767 said:

So the point is that if you want to do that you will need to have booked the locks by at least the day before your hire starts, it would not work leaving it until you pick the boat up.  

Yes, do note this.  You need to give at least 24hrs notice. For info or to book contact Gloucester Lock on 01452 310832 or mobile 07717 681068. To avoid any confusion, Gloucester Lock take the bookings for any of the Severn locks on the same number.

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